Who Hijacked Our Country

Saturday, February 19, 2005

End of the New Deal?

The battle over Social Security is the latest round in a war that the far Right has been waging since the 1930s.

There is a small but well-organized minority that has been champing at the bit to dismantle every last shred of the safety net that was put in place during FDR’s presidency. Replacing the progressive income tax (i.e. the more you earn the higher percentage you pay) with a flat tax is right up there at the top of their list, along with dismantling Social Security.

This group is still a minority, but right now they have more power than at any time since the early 1900s.

Few people (outside of this group) look back on the 1950s as a period of socialism and massive giveaways. The G.I. Bill, home loans for veterans, the minimum wage — all contributed to making that period the most prosperous in our history. And it’s all headed for the chopping block. Eventually. Incrementally. Brace yourself for more and more Orwellian variations on their “saving Social Security” rhetoric.

A White House strategist said in a recent memo: “For the first time in six decades, the Social Security battle is one we can win—and in doing so, we can help transform the political and philosophical landscape of the country.”

Make no mistake — this “ownership” society that the Right is chirping about is a euphemism for dismantling it all: Social Security, the progressive income tax, minimum wage, you name it. We were an “ownership” society during the 1930s depression. Do we want that again?

9 Comments:

Blogger cracker said...

What is wrong with eliminating SS as we know it and allow people to control their own retirement? I would prefer the Fair Tax over the Flat tax. It is more fair and will increase the economy enormously. The U.S. would be the destination of most businesses.

February 19, 2005 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger birdwoman said...

"do we really want that?"

YES

the pendulum swings. You'll never see a govt completely free from entitlements. But I would like some of the socialism to end.

(*)>

February 19, 2005 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger OTTMANN said...

Hey Tom,

What do mean "minority"?

In 2004, Bush was re-elected with more than 51 percent of the vote and democrats say he doesn't have a mandate. Yet In 1976, Jimma Carta squeaked by with barely 50 percent, and democrats said it was a huge mandate.

In the two times Bill Clinton was elected, he received well under 50 percent of the vote, and again democrats insisted that he had a mandate.

President Bush's popular and electoral 2004 vote margins of over 51 percent granted him a definite mandate, and thus also exposes the fact that by lacking any real mandate both the Carter and Clinton administrations were totally ineffective policy makers, and thus were actually years of little, if not false progress in American history.


These double-standards that liberals live by only enforces the reality of how outside the American mainstream they truly are, and why they keep losing!

You want socialism? MOVE TO CANADA or the EU!

The MAJORITY won't let it happen in America, thank God!

February 19, 2005 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Ottman:

The "minority" I was referring to was not Republicans, or everybody who voted for Bush. A lot of people, including Republicans and Conservatives, are leary of tampering with Social Security.

February 19, 2005 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger Armchair Genius said...

Well I think that a flat tax (if implemented correctly) would actually have the effect of increasing the tax burden on the wealthy as they would be unable to use loopholes and tax shelters that currently exist to avoid paying their "fair" share of the tax.

On the social security issue, the simple fact is that the system is flawed, the demographics will cause a drastic cut in benefits (30% or so) unless we do something. Poorer americans would effectively have no safety net, as even 100% of the benefits is not really enough to support a person financially. Of course privitization doesn't really address that problem. That problem can only be solved by doing things like raising the retirement age, elimintating the $90,000 contribution cap (i.e., currently once you earn $90,000 for the year, you no longer pay social security taxes on any additional income), etc.

No politician will ever be able to dismantle the social security entitlement, but the system is going to be broken, and we should try to save it now if we can.

February 19, 2005 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger Michael_the_Archangel said...

Tom -
Kinda looks (from the comments) that folks are finally figuring out how the system has been, and it hasn't been fair. I LOVE the idea of a flat tax, with NO loop holes, including mortgage deduction. Dismantle SS, works for me, in the worst of times the average stock fund gained 4% (as tracked over 20 years) while at the best of times SS gained 1.5% (as tracked over the same 20 years). It's MY money, not yours, let me control MY money - quit trying to 'distribute' it.

Socialism doesn't work, take a look at the various European countries that are running it (to various degrees) France, Germany, Finland, Norway - I'd MUCH rather live here than in any one of those countries (which is why I do). If you believe that socialism is the way to go, then I suggest you move to one of the socialistic countries.

February 20, 2005 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

I welcome dissenting viewpoints (and I'm sure getting them in droves from this post :) ).

But the conservative mantra that just drives me up a tree is: "If you don't like it here why don't you move to another country," "America: Love it or leave it," etc. etc. It's a totally mindless kneejerk response. How many conservatives left the country when Clinton was president (or Carter? Johnson?)?

People who disagree with the government obviously like it here; they care enough to try changing things. This is a great country; the current president (and his harem that used to be known as Congress) sucks. Two separate things.

February 20, 2005 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

Mr. Bush hijacked this nation in several manners. First, he was not elected the first time around. Republicans can argue this point into the ground but he was not legitimate. Thus he should not have been in the White House in the first place. Second, he had the Iraq agenda to begin with so when 9/11 happened he used the fear it caused to further his own agenda of invading Iraq. Third, he did not try very hard or at all to verify the facts he had about WMD in Iraq. And finally, he is now seeking to do away with all the Democratic reforms he can and that includes social security. He sees two big pluses here: 1) He can weaken support of democrats by making democratic strong points such as social security his own by changing them; 2) He can strengthen his party's big business ties by arranging for American social security money to be invested in said big businesses. If he succeeds, it is a win/win for him and his party. The only ones who lose are the average Americans who lose the money they invest when one day down the road another Republican President causes another recession.

February 20, 2005 at 7:28 PM  
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February 6, 2006 at 9:15 AM  

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